TOKYO (Kyodo) -- An extremely high concentration of pesticides has been detected in frozen green beans imported from China, and one woman who ate them became ill, a municipal government in Tokyo said early Wednesday.
The public health office in Hachioji city said it has detected in the beans 6,900 parts per million of organophosphate pesticide dichlorvos, or 34,500 times the residue standard set by the Japanese government for imports.
The concentrated amount was nearly as much as an undiluted solution of the pesticide, according to the health ministry.
The woman complained of numbing in her mouth after eating the product on Sunday, which she had bought the previous day at an outlet of Ito-Yokado Co. supermarket chain in Hachioji. The women, in her 50s, was hospitalized but recovered several hours later.
The Metropolitan Police Department has been investigating the incident as a possible criminal case.
Tokyo-based Nichirei Foods Inc. imported 2,538 cases of the beans in question from a food maker in China's Shandong Province in late July. One case contains 20 packs. Ito-Yokado has already removed the product from shelves of its 179 outlets, including those of affiliated supermarket chains.
Japanese food companies have imported 265 tons of green beans from the Chinese company in the past year, the Japanese health ministry said.